There are things you love about being a grower and things you don’t, but ultimately it is what you make of it. I started working at the farm when I was 13...22 yrs ago working every job there was with my father, David Kendall, the founder of Kendall Farms. He was my inspiration and taught me everything. When he was diagnosed with cancer, I began taking over the operation. He was so incredibly generous, letting me take on new roles, make mistakes, learning as I go and this gave me the confidence to lead the company when he passed in 2004. My passion is continually growing our business to its fullest potential with my team…my family…of growers.
I say family because that is what we are at Kendall Farms. We were united by our biggest challenge to date, the fire in 2007. Pulling together, all the employees help put out the fire that was blazing in the field. That day attitudes shifted! Everyone started leaning on each other to support the company like a big extended family, not just depending on it for a job. We lost 75% of our crop due to the fire but have restored to date 80% of it. The silver lining of it is that now we are a more cohesive company up for any challenge.
And growing in California is not without its challenges. Over regulation and restrictive water usage limitations can stunt our growth. However, California, being the 8th largest economy in world, is also one of the best locations for growing our flowers. The wonderful microclimate we grown in (what is the area called) is unique and allows Kendall to offer a typically South African or Australian product to the mainstream market, providing them with long-lasting product that lasts and has an exotic look. The people of California make it worthwhile. They embrace their local farmers and show an incredible sense of loyalty. Ever since the inception of the California Grown campaign and the VeriFlora Certification, Kendall Farms has seen the pull-through benefits of increased demand for California Grown products with all of their supermarket customers. Thank-you California!